As we have written previously, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer HTC is developing a blockchain and cryptocurrency-friendly smartphone called the HTC Exodus. The phone promises to bring safe cryptocurrency storage and the ability to function as a node for various blockchain networks. Originally, HTC planned to develop a native blockchain for the phone, but the plan has since been abandoned. Recently, HTC has partnered with CryptoKitties with plans to bring the DApp to the U.S. market.
Now, the HTC Exodus team has confirmed that Litecoin founder Charlie Lee will be joining the project as an advisor. Lee stated that the Exodus phone will offer native support for Litecoin and also offer Lightning Network functionality for Litecoin. Elizabeth Stark, the co-founder of Lightning Labs, is also one of the advisors for the Exodus project.
Phil Chen, the head of the project, recently told the South China Morning Post that the phone has received “tens of thousand” reservations globally – the main competitor for Exodus is looking to be the SIRIN Labs Finney phone, which is set to ship in October this year with a price tag of about $1,000. The Exodus will also not be cheap, as it is a high-end product targeted at a niche market.
HTC’s smartphone business has been declining heavily in recent years, which could indicate that their move into the blockchain space is a desperation move – after securing an 8.8% share of the global smartphone market in 2011, HTC phones accounted for less than 1% of the market in late 2017. If blockchain and cryptocurrency take off and reach mass adoption, however, HTC’s (relatively) early entry into the blockchain space could pay off big time.